What happened that September day explains it all… Photo Taken by my twin sis with my niece (Her daughter) Madison Liberty September 2010
This picture says so many things, I was holding all my fear inside. The doctors told me the cancer was aggressive and just spreading (seemingly hopeless). Unless I did the recommended treatments I would just be putting my life at risk, could be months a year….It was September 2010 the afternoon I got the news from my oncologist that my cancer was getting worse. Stage 4 breast cancer metastasis to my bones, all lobes of my lungs, lymph nodes and soft tissue, I had staph infection in my lungs and pneumonia. www.shannonsstory.com
My twin sister Jenine DiConti upon hearing the news, came and picked me up and drove me to the beach. She saved me that day. I remember her playing music from the good old days in high school and singing to me, literally. She tried cheering me up, looking back, I don’t know how she did it. I would be devastated if I heard the same news about her. She’s strong on the outside but I know she was breaking on the inside.Every now and then I’d start panicking and crying on the drive and I’d put my head in my lap. I was panicking about dying.
We had a great day at the beach, but it felt like my last trip there, every moment felt like a goodbye. Madison her daughter (My niece) so wise beyond her years would say things to cheer me up, she always senses things no matter what. Very amazing. I took a walk later when I felt like I was going to lose it emotionally and I just needed to come to terms with death. I walked under the dock to the other side of paradise cove in Malibu, I laid down on the sand and I stared up at the sky, it felt more like a part of me at that moment than anything else on earth. It almost felt suffocating, so vast, like it was falling closer to me. I was flooded with memories of all my loved ones that had already gone before me. It was scary but comforting to imagine them there waiting for me in heaven.
I was terrified laying there. This feeling of acceptance of death was there too but it was odd, it just felt all wrong, like I had so much still that I had to do. I felt a sudden passion run through me with the Lord and I had a conversation with Him that day. I even made a promise to God. This was the day, the life changing moment for me! I prayed so hard and pleaded Him and I must say it was with the greatest determination of my life.
This is as real and vulnerable as it gets. I did what I am sure many of us with faith do, I pleaded, because I was sad to leave, I felt like I had unfinished things to do. I felt a purpose to stay and it was stronger than ever. I asked God, no, honestly I begged Him as tears poured down my cheeks. I said, “Please let me stay, I swear to you I will make my life worth more than 10 volunteers, just let me show you I can help people! Let me stay and beat this cancer my way, the healthy way. Let me help other cancer patients.”
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I said it with force and conviction, ” I said, “I can do so much more here than I can in heaven, let me show you!” I don’t know where that falls in line with being a good Christian, I just felt I needed to have this serious talk with God. I’ve always believed in God’s will, but, anyone that knows me, knows I’ll have my say with a situation that I feel strongly about.
I am Christian, so faith is important in everything I do. I am keeping the promise I made, it wasn’t really a deal, it was a calling and I want my life to be a life that serves others. What happened the day this picture was taken has caused my life to change forever. I thank you, Lord for all the blessings in my life for getting me through the darkest days and giving me a chance to show you that I can do so much more then I ever though I was able to do until I got sick. You revealed all my abilities.